WARNING: This review has spoilers.
- Kirito goes to find Asuna.
- Kirito's adopted A.I daughter is revived (albeit, in a very weak form. She went from Admin level to Navi).
- Kirito finds another girl have help on his journey.
- The said girl happens to be his cousin (who has the hots for him).
- Asuna's older cousin (Sugou), the main antagonist of the second arc, wants to f*ck her.
- Kirito through bullsh*t has all his old powers, but none of his items. If ALO was actually SAO in diguise.
- Kirito through more bullsh*t, gains admin powers at the final battle with Sugou and beats him before he rapes Asuna
- Kirito through the greatest level of bullsh*t shown in the series defeats Sugou IRL, the former having no hand-to-hand combat and somewhat atrophied muscles/bones, while Sugou surprised him with a knife.
On a side note, levels of fanservice in the series increased by alot in the next arc. It was there in part 1, but it wasn't getting in the way in the story (though, it was not too good to start with). Though, in the Alfeim Online arc, it got blatant to the point being blocking the view of the show's story and what could've been good with a view of Kirito's under aged cousin taking a shower thinking kinky things about him.
If you really want to know more details about the 2nd arc, be my guest and watch the show. I wouldn't stop you if I could; I just wouldn't reccomend it. At all. Because based on what I've seen this is my rating of the story:
Story Rating: 4/10 (At best)
Animation: As disappointing as the story and characters were in this show, I give credit where it is due; and in this case, it's definitely in the animation of the show itself. The bright, vibrant lighting and the fluid motion of most of the battes were actually asthetically pleasing to look at. I mean, just look at these screeshots:
For a 2012 show, I wouldn't be surprised if this was one of the best when it came to terms of raw animation. Unfortunately, no other category in this review can share nearly as high of a rating. It kinda makes me sad that so much money went into one of the least important parts of a show. I mean, if the story was amazing and the animation was crappy, I wouldn't mind nearly as much. I'd just watch a great 80s or 90s anime.
Animation Rating: 9/10
Soundtrack: Again, one of the two saving graces for the show. The first opening was probably the one of the few things they got right. The second, for some reason, I actually liked almost as much as one. Don't know why. I've never heard anyone else say that about the second. Moving on.
Unfortunately, I cannot find a video of the actual opening for SAO, so I'll just post this... www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO60ah…
Speaking as a person who dislikes this show, I cannot deny the musical talent in this link.
As for the music in the show itself; it's pretty good. If placed in a better show, the soundtrack would be able to amplify something good into something better. But... I guess we can't always get what we want.
Sound Rating: 8/10
Characters: By far, the worst part of the series. In this show; I've seen one of the worst cases of what I like to call OPMCS (over-powered main character syndrome), a main female lead that went from Erza lite to Princess Peach, and a final villain that makes the f*cking Evil Jiggle Butt gang from Fairy Tail seem more threatening in comparison. Hell, they are more threatening. At least those three have enough wind to knock people out, while Sugou in real life is even more of a little b*tch than he is in the virtual world. He's a shame to anime villains throughout not just anime, but fictional villains PERIOD.
Lets go into this in detail:
Kirito: AKA, Kiriguya Kazuto. Whatever you call him, I detest this character. Alot. Anyways, he's the main character of the show, and boy does he show it off. As a loser IRL with issues with his parents, he focuses on gaming to escape the real world. Apparently, he focused so much, that he manages to beat the creator of both SAO and Alfeim Online. He started like everyone else, no real advantage over everyone else. Ok, he had beta access with a few hundred other players, but other than that, he was pretty normal. Despite saying himself that he never cheated/hacked, I call BULLSH*T! WHAT THE F*CK WAS THAT WITH GLEAM EYES?! He was clearly scared sh*tless, and that was with the help of Asuna + Klein. Then, he fights that thing solo, gains the duel wield ability, and beats it. So, are you telling me..... that having another sword in your hand gives you a Bankai-like upgrade in ability? Hell no. The way the show tried to portray things at least somewhat realistically, and the fact that the sword had no real bonus effect or anything to really help him, Kirito should have died. He didn't even have the help of his friends when he defeated that thing. The best they did was buy time. Gleam eyes then fought ONE on ONE with Kirito, so you can't even say his friends distracted it or anything. That's only one of the many times Kirito bullsh*ts his way out of something.
The next case has Kirito in ALO. Because he had no magic in SAO, he has no abilities of the sort to carry over. He's being chased with Leafa/his cousin (Suguha) by advanced mages, and a phalanx of well trained sheided soilders. Kirito is explicitly shown to be ABSOLUTE SH*T at using magic. Not only that, but his class practices more so in the art of Illusion magic. So tell me this: How the hell was he able to slaughter a group of about 15 mages in some monster "illusion" transformation? Just look at this:
I wish I could've found one with english subs, but you can still see the ridiculousness of this if you've seen the show. This "illusion" actually wiped out a team of trained wizards. He freaking ATE at least one of them.
What's even worse is the fact that there was no attempt AT ALL to even explain what happened with Kirito when that happened.
Not only is Kirito overpowered as all f*ck, he's actually kind of a womanizing ass. Looking back, everytime there was a male character that he could've saved as they were fighting a horde of monsters or something of the sort, he never even seemed to bother helping them out. Combined with the fact that he led a harem of about 6 women (ok I'm guessing, but at this point I don't really care), this coincidence kinda leads up to this.
I could keep going with how much Kirito sucked as a character, but it'd take me as long as it would take for One Piece to finish. (I personally have nothing againest One Piece).
The only good I really saw in him was that he was....crap I can't think of anything. Lets move on to the next character.
Asuna: Simply put, the greatest disappointment in the series. From the first few episodes, she actually pulled her own weight; doing a good chunk of work killing the first boss in the series, earning the nickname "Lightning Flash Asuna", and giving even the main over-powered main character some pause. But......when episode 7 happened, she went down hill from there not only as a character, but also as a fighter. At least it seems like that for the latter. She couldn't do jack sh*t to even really help Kirito againest Gleam Eyes, spent at least a good month or two on vacation doing what you'd guess with Kirito, hid behind the sad excuse of a man Kirito at the sight of a "ghost", and was grossed out by frog legs. You'd think the woman who's probably in the top 15 for best players in the game would brush off the last two things like nothing, since her life for 2 years was literally a death game.
In season 2, she couldn't do ANYTHING, as her older cousin locked her in a bird cage for most of that half of the show. Well, granted she was against the head admin for the game. I give her that. But the fact that she went this low in the series is a shame in itself. She became a rape case waiting to happen, almost literally. In episode 21, she was going to get tentacle raped. For a moment, SAO almost went from fantasy/adventure to hentai. As I have said before, she went from Erza Lite to Princess Peach. From Major Kusanagi to Sakura Haruno (pre Shippuden at that). From Riza Hawkeye to early One Piece Nami; but worse.
Sugou: If you've seen SAO, I hardly need an explanation here. He had nothing good for me to start with, and ended up being one of the worst villians I have seen in anime. Asuna practically devolved into a b*tch by the time this guy showed up; but between the 2 characters, he was an even bigger b*tch. To think this guy was the final villian of the series... when we have characters like Alduin, Deathwing, Aizen, Madara, Sephiroth, Jack of Blades, Xemnas, Vlitra, and a long vast list of other epic characters.
Ok, maybe some of these guys are kinda unfair to compare someone to, but... how horribly built of a character he is just inexcusable.
Let's take a look at how this guy pisses me off:
- This guy looks like... a fairy prince(ss). Ok, I mean he's supposed to be the king of elves, but seriously, who the f*ck designed him as the FINAL villain. When I think of final boss to a game or anime, I think of stuff like this (especially for something with fantasy elements):
Deathwing (World of Warcraft)
Vlitra Core (Asura's Wrath)
I mean, I know there are characters out there that don't look imtimadating, but are actually powerful; but that's usually on purpose. Sugou isn't even trying to lure the audience (or Kirito), into a false sense of security with his less than threatening appearance. He looks just like the way he acts: "...like a little b*tch". -Frieza (TFS version).
- He wasn't even evil for a really good reason. Ok, maybe reason isn't the right word (just take a good look at The Dark Knight's Joker), but the way his plan was executed in the story may be what I'm refering to. The only thing he really tried to do was f*ck his underaged younger cousin and make money off of potential mind control from the VRMMO gear; with more emphasis on the former.
- This guy is the final villain (I know I mention this alot, but please bear with me), and he screams like a scared 7 year old, both IRL and practically a (flawed) god in his game. Go ahead and watch.
I'd go more into the characters, but the thing is, the show was so much about Kirito, there isn't even much for me to say about almost anyone else. Other than Kirito, Asuna, Suguha (Kirito's cousin) and the main villians, the other characters don't do sh*t. Klein, and Agil were kinda like "that one guy I play with sometimes on Xbox Live."
Out of the series, this was the worst thing the show performed on. Period.
This is how I honestly feel about the characters for SAO, except Klein, Agil, and even Recon:
Character Rating: 3/10
Total Enjoyment: With a sh*tty story and even sh*ttier characters, I'd say this show is simliar to a shiny piece of sh*t. The external properties of the show is obviously where most of the money went when developing this show, with a pretty good soundtrack and great looking animation. I actually thought Sword Art Online was a pretty legit series in the first few episodes: but because the story felt like something written from a fantasy obsessed 15 year old, an over-powered, boring main character with a growing harem the more he travels (while hogging the spotlight of other "important characters"), and two ABSOLUTELY sh*tty villians, I regretted this experiance. If the animation and soundtrack weren't the saving grace of the show, I'd give this series a 3/10, but because I give credit where it's due, I can give it one more point. And no, I'm not doing this mathatically, because that'd mean the soundtrack and animation would be just as important as the story and characters, which (at least in my belief) is not true. Sure, SAO had some enjoyable moments, but those are far over-shadowed by the negative aspects of the series.
My Reccomendation: If you put little thought into watch anything, you might like it. If you don't, save yourself from wasting about 10 hours of your life.
Overall Rating: 4/10
- Log Horizon
- .Hack series
*I am doing this by what I have heard. I've yet to see any of the 2 series, but know enough to know that they follow the virtual reality kinda story. Don't take this too seriously.